5 Tips To Help Students Filing the FAFSA

Best way to save time is to be prepared
graphic with yellow background and Abe Lincoln's face from the five dollar bill saying "Don't miss out on money"

Regardless of your financial situation or your family's, it is still recommended for all students to file the FAFSA because it can be the first step in qualifying for grant money as well as other types of need-based financial aid.

While the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form can be intimidating, these helpful tips can make you feel more prepared and less stressed.

Apply early

The FAFSA is open for students to apply on Oct. 1 every year. And when you apply early, you'll be able to have access to more federal or school financial aid.

Applying early also means you can get it out of the way now and not have to think about it later. Pushing it too close to the due date means more stress upon you and your family to find any relevant tax and income information.

Be prepared

Make sure that you are prepared and have gathered the information required to complete the FAFSA. By going out of your way to have the information you need, it will be easier to fill it out. For most students, who are still claimed as dependents on their parents' tax returns, that means making sure their parents have their financial and tax information easily available.

Schedule time to do it

A good tip when it comes to completing the FAFSA is to schedule a day where you and your parents, especially if you're using their financial and tax information, can do it together and make sure that everything is filled out. By scheduling a day to do it and making sure everyone knows what info is needed beforehand, it makes it easier for the student and the parents.


One thing that students tend to forget is to double-check that all the information entered is correct and is ready to be submitted without any errors. It’d be terrible to miss out on aid because you entered information incorrectly without realizing it, so it pays to take a few minutes to review your work.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

When it comes to financial aid, there are plenty of resources to help students and parents with the FAFSA application. Here at the UMKC Financial Aid Office, students can contact them to set up appointments if they have any questions or concerns when applying for FAFSA. 

And don't forget, just because you filed the FAFSA doesn't mean you'll get aid. Make sure you also apply to scholarships and look for other means of financial aid like grants and loans. The UMKC Financial Aid Office is here to help you.

Learn more about UMKC Financial Aid

Published: Oct 20, 2020

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